Are you a morning or evening person? What time of the day do you work best? These are the questions that a new app called OU Brainwave from UK-based The Open University seeks to answer for you – and it does it by providing a series of short games that test your cognitive skills. The test results purportedly “plot your Brainwave,” or cognitive performance, and let you know what time of day your noodle achieves maximum efficiency.
There are five tests, all of them timed. Super Snap tests your working memory by displaying a series of colored shapes and asking you to tap your iPhone screen every time you see a shape that matches an image displayed two steps prior. Track checks your ability to follow the random movement of three balls across a field of others just like it. Spin tests your spatial processing by asking you to match up a series of Rubik’s Cube-shaped patterns after they’ve been rotated. React checks your focus by having you tap your screen when a red button turns green. And Hotspot uses your iPhone’s gyroscope/accelerometer to roll a ball around your screen to hold it in place over a hidden hotspot.
You’ll need to play the games repeatedly throughout different times of the day for the information to report back an accurate profile of your performance – but once you’ve done so, you’ll finally know the answers to a few questions…that you’ve probably worked out with yourself already. That said, OU Brainwave is a lot more fun that just assuming you’re more apt to get work done if you burn the midnight oil.
According to the app’s terms and conditions, the tests have been built upon published psychological research, so at least you know you’re not being tested by some random quack. In turn for gaining free access to the app, you must first agree to have your test results logged and recorded for research purposes. If this is all starting to sound a bit creepy, fear not. You aren’t required to actually provide any personal information. It’s for science, after all.
OU Brainwave is available as a free download on iTunes (and Android) and requires iOS 7.0 or later. It’s compatible with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.